This dreamy Loaded Baked Potato Soup is a true Fall and Winter comfort food. On a cool rainy day, there’s nothing like it, it’s soothing to the stomach and soul! Potato soup was a regular meal we enjoyed as kids. Some Moms make chicken noodle soup when the kids are sick but, my Mom made potato soup. So, my love of potato soup started at a young age.
In this Loaded Baked Potato Soup I chose to use lighter versions of dairy products, but, I am in no way implying this is a diet dish. It’s perfectly fine with me if you choose to go the full fat route but, I just wanted to demonstrate that it’s not necessary for the richness and flavor of this soup to shine through. It makes for such a comfort and tummy filing meal served with a side of homemade garlic bread or cheese crackers for dipping. A salad and warm crusty garlic bread is all you need to turn this into a meal fit for a king or queen.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Loaded Baked Potato Soup
- 3 lbs baking-russet potatoes [approximate]
- 5 Tbsp light butter
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
- 1 tsp ground mustard
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 4 cups 2 % milk
- 10 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
- 1/3 cup red onion
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 1/2 cups low fat half & half
- 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese divided 2% or full fat
- 2 [14.5 oz] cans chicken broth
- 1 8 oz light sour cream
- 8 chopped green onions
- 2 Tbsp fresh chopped Italian parsley
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Wash the potatoes, and remove any blemishes, but, don't peel. Pierce each potato with a fork 2-3 times, then wrap in aluminum foil. Place onto a baking sheet and bake for 1-1 1/2 hours until fork tender. Remove from the oven, and cut into bite size chunks.
- In a medium stove top pot, melt 5 tablespoons of light butter. Add 1/2 cup of flour, salt, dry mustard and black pepper. Cook until the roux blends and the flour cooks slightly, about 1-2 minutes.
- Slowly whisk in 4 cups of milk. The roux tends to stick to the edges of the pot, so be certain you mix all of it into the milk, or the sauce won't thicken properly.
- Bring to a boil stirring constantly, then lower the heat to a simmer. Allow the sauce to simmer for 4-5 minutes, until the flour has cooked.
- While the sauce is cooking, in a large pot or dutch oven, cook the bacon until crisp.Remove to paper towels to drain, reserving 2 Tbsp droppings. Saute red onion in drippings until translucent. Add minced garlic cooking for 1 minute.
- After the sauce has cooked for 5 minutes and thickened, add 1 1/2 cups of low fat half & half and 2 cups of shredded cheese. Stir until the cheese has completely melted then, remove from the heat.
- Add the chopped potato chunks, and 1 1/2 cans of chicken broth. Cook on medium. You can adjust the thickness of the soup after adding the sauce to the pot.
- Pour the cheese sauce into the pot and stir until blended. If you thin your soup a little too much, don't panic, you can easily thicken it by mashing some of the potatoes. Starch is a natural thickener, and the soup will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Allow the soup to bubble, but do not boil, for about 15-20 minutes.
- Add the chopped parsley, half of the crumbled bacon and 8 ounces of sour cream. Continue to cook on medium just until heated through. Taste and adjust salt and pepper, if needed.
- Ladle into bowls, topped with a sprinkle of shredded cheese, crumbled bacon and green onions.
The Old Bay Seasoning is optional but, we really like the "kick" it gives to the potato soup. Creole seasoning would work great, too.